The hot and humid weather in Darwin has created fertile conditions for dangerous waterspouts, and one has been captured on camera.
Bob Gosford, who writes the Northern Myth blog for news website Crikey, said he saw the waterspout near the Darwin Ski Club on December 22.
“I was just cruising around one morning and I saw it was up, so snapped off a couple of photos,” he said.
Mr Gosford said he had never seen a waterspout off the coast of Darwin before, but they were reasonably common according to Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Ian Shepherd.
“We seem to get a couple of reports of waterspouts each year,” he said.
Mr Shepherd said the meteorological conditions that create waterspouts were similar to what caused tornadoes, but waterspouts were much weaker.
“It needs very moist and humid conditions, that’s why you often see them in the tropics,” he said.
Waterspouts are not strong enough to damage buildings on land, but can cause damage to boats, Mr Shepherd said.
“If you were on the water they could cause a problem, particularly for yachts.”
The hot, humid conditions that help foster waterspouts have been making life uncomfortable for the Top End’s residents, but a monsoon trough should bring relief to people soon.